For Immediate Release: December 12, 2022
Press Release by:
Kelly Takaya King, Former Councilmember
Maui County Council
Council to receive Youth Council recommendations at Dec. 16 council meeting
WAILUKU, Hawai‘i—The inaugural Maui County Youth Council adopted resolutions Dec. 5 for inclusion in the 2022 Maui County Youth Legislative Package, Councilmember Kelly Takaya King announced Monday.
Resolutions were prepared and proposed by the members of the Youth Council, who are high school students from across Maui County. Youth Council members met in the Council Chamber to receive public testimony and deliberate on their proposed resolutions.
King said the resolution proposals represent policy priorities of Maui County’s youth, and she hopes the issues will be addressed by the incoming council. The Dec. 5 Youth Council meeting was recorded by Akakū Community Media and is available at the Maui County Council Facebook page at Facebook.com/MauiCountyCouncil.
The Youth Council members include elected officers Chair Therese Nicholle “Nikki” Ignacio, Vice-Chair India Buchanan and Officer Pro Tempore Natalie Petty. Other members include Dylan Arisumi, Raje Bluml, Dylan Bowen, Grace Crowe, Anna Galbreath and Jacob Janikowski. Youth Council participants John Kaahui and Gizelle Rodrigues were also present.
The 10 resolutions adopted by the Youth Council by majority vote will be transmitted to the Maui County Council in Resolution 22-269, which is on Friday’s County Council agenda.
“The Youth Council members were extremely comfortable and poised, as well as passionate and thoughtful in their comments in regard to issues that matter to all of us,” said King. “The first Maui County Youth Council was a resounding success, and I would vote for any of these brilliant young minds in the next election for Council.”
The Maui County Youth Council was a pilot project proposed by King and established by the Maui County Council via Resolution 21-199, to explore youth engagement in county government. King said the cohort of high school students met with councilmembers and community leaders to learn about county government and local issues over the past year.
Axel Beers, senior executive assistant for Councilmember King and former social studies teacher, was their advisor.
“Seeing this insightful work on our agenda today, I am hopeful that Maui’s future is bright,” said Beers. “Through continuing to expand programs that increase the voice of our young people, we can find ways to strengthen our community and deepen representation in our government.”
To read Resolution 22-269 and for more information on this term’s final Council meeting, including how to provide public testimony, visit Mauicounty.us/agendas.
Closing Remarks of Youth Council members:
“I appreciate the opportunity to come here today and share our concerns, and I wanted to thank Mr. Beers and Councilmember King and all others that have helped to create the youth council. I hope all of our statements have impacted you today, and I hope that there will be more continuation of the County working with the youth of Maui” -India Buchanan, Vice-Chair
“I definitely want to thank the people who let us have this opportunity to have a youth council because it gives the kids responsibility and people can also see things through the kids’ eyes to see what do the kids really care for, aspects kids care for. This was a really good thing for all of us to have a say in our community.” -Raje Bluml
“I’d like to thank Axel Beers and Councilmember King and all the councilmembers who came to share their wisdom and ideas. I’d also like to thank my mom who helped me through this.” -Dylan Bowen
“I’d like to thank Axel Beers for sticking with us for all these months. I’d also like to thank all the councilmembers and Chair Ignacio for making this a success and having really diverse and interesting resolutions. I’m glad they all passed.” -Anna Galbreath
“I wanted to thank everyone in this room and on the meeting for supporting us. And Mr. Beers for helping us.” Dylan Arisumi
“I want to thank Axel Beers and Councilmember King. People are always saying the youth is the future and I’m very grateful that you guys have not made us have to wait until we’ve outgrown our youth to be able to make change” -Natalie Petty, Officer Pro Tempore
“I’d like to thank Mr. Beers because I know my schedule changed a lot and he still helped me to stay up to date. Just, good job everyone.” -Grace Crowe
“I would like to thank everybody in this room. Thank you to our youth council advisor. Thank you Councilmember King for giving us this opportunity to let the youth voice what’s important to them. What you guys are doing is really great. I am so honored to have worked with all of you. Thank you, councilmembers. I have had a really nice couple of months. This was an amazing experience and opportunity.” -Nikki Ignacio, Chair